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Most accounts payable professionals willing to pay more for automated payments, study shows

By Puja Sharma

May 02, 2024

  • Account Payables
  • AR workflows
  • Automated Cash Settlement
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Digital Payments, Payment Gateways, FinTech, UKNew research from embedded finance specialist Weavr reveals that a staggering 94% of Accounts Payable (AP) professionals would prefer their AP software to be able to execute payments, not just prepare them. Based on a survey of 250 UK finance and accounting professionals, the data shows a significant number of pain points within current industry solutions.

Accounts Payable systems are vital for SMEs and large corporations, each with varying capabilities from accounting to procurement to bulk-payment processing. However, as Weavr’s research has found, only 15% of AP professionals state that they could use a singular tool to carry out all of the operations required to fulfil their daily tasks, with 82% needing two or more tools to complete their processing. This requirement for multiple separate platforms causes significant delays in processing time, with 21% finding the manual data import and export into several tools increasingly frustrating.

Manual data import and export is a top cause of time delays and errors within AP workflows, creating payment batches, and establishing payment status. And since manual data entry remains common in AP processes, there are heightened risks of human error: a concern for 72% of professionals. From the research conducted, Weavr found that AP professionals are eager for new features to be built into the current software options, including automated reconciliation, executing bulk payments, and pre-filled payment details for recurring payees.

By facilitating the integration of financial features, such as execution of wire transfers, directly into AP software, Weavr’s solutions bring much-needed convenience, control and accuracy for finance teams using upgraded tooling. The potential for acceleration and automation of traditionally manual business-payment processes could significantly enhance the value of AP software in the eyes of practitioners. According to the survey, 86% of AP professionals would pay more for the new software capabilities such as approving and executing supplier payments within a single tool’s end-to-end workflow – a testament to how widespread the appetite for improvement is.

Reflecting on the research, Alex Mifsud, CEO and co-founder of Weavr, shared his vision: “Our research into Accounts Payable is just the beginning of our journey to understand the industries that could benefit the most from embedded finance. By shedding light on the challenges faced by Accounts Payable professionals, we’ve gained a deeper insight into how the industry could be supported by embedding financial services. To complement this research, we’ve created a guide page on our site, which delves into this topic on a deeper level and offers solutions to the issues our research has highlighted.”

“We’re excited about the potential of embedded finance to transform complex, error-prone processes into streamlined solutions across a range of use-cases.  Our upcoming product releases will do exactly this for Accounts Payable, delivering automated reconciliation, bulk payments execution, and pre-filled bank details for recurring payees, all integrated within the Account Payable software.”

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